News National New warning for smokers

New warning for smokers

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A new $4.6 million national anti-tobacco advertising campaign has been launched in Melbourne.

The radio, television, print out-of-home and online campaign will target groups more greatly affected by tobacco-related illnesses, such as Australia’s indigenous peoples.

It was launched at the Cancer Council Victoria by federal assistant health minister Fiona Nash on Saturday, which is World No Tobacco Day.

Ms Nash said the campaign would aim to lower the tobacco death rate.

“Significant gains have been made in cutting smoking rates, with the number of Australians aged 18 years and over who smoke daily falling from 22.4 per cent in 2001 to 16.3 per cent in 2011-12,” Ms Nash said.

“More work, however, needs to be done, particularly in those sections of our community where smoking is more entrenched, including in regional and rural communities, among culturally and linguistically diverse groups and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“We’re also determined to continue to support pregnant women who want to quit smoking.”

Cancer Council Victoria chief executive officer Todd Harper said education was vital to lowering smoking rates and congratulated Ms Nash “for achieving this important campaign in a difficult funding environment”.

Tobacco smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease among Australians.

It kills more than 15,000 Australians each year and costs an estimated $31.5 billion each year in social and economic costs.